Make No Little Plans: The London Plan 

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency” (Daniel … Continue reading “Make No Little Plans: The London Plan “

Parliament, Purdah, Planning

The pre- general election “purdah” period starts at midnight tonight (21 April). What this means is set in Cabinet Office guidance published yesterday, 20 April. The guidance says: “During the election period, the Government retains its responsibility to govern, and Ministers remain in charge of their departments. Essential business must be carried on. However, it is … Continue reading “Parliament, Purdah, Planning”

Planners & Pubs

“…That is the best of Britain and it is part of our distinctive and unique contribution to Europe. Distinctive and unique as Britain will remain in Europe. Fifty years from now Britain will still be the country of long shadows on county grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and – … Continue reading “Planners & Pubs”

Heffalump Traps: The Ashdown Forest Cases

The Ashdown Forest in East Sussex is unique. Lindblom LJ recently described it as follows: “Ashdown Forest contains one of the largest continuous blocks of lowland heath in south-east England. The [Special Area of Conservation] which extends to about 2,700 hectares, comprises both Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix and European dry heaths. It … Continue reading “Heffalump Traps: The Ashdown Forest Cases”

London Calling: Mayoral Interventions

Sadiq Khan is now 10 months into his role. How has he been using his Mayor of London Order 2008 powers to intervene in relation to strategic planning applications? The number one priority in his manifesto was, after all, to: “tackle the housing crisis, building thousands more homes for Londoners each year, setting an ambitious target of … Continue reading “London Calling: Mayoral Interventions”

Aarhus: Caps In The Air Again

 The Aarhus Convention requires that access to justice in environmental matters should be “be fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive”.  Dear patient reader, you will recall that in 2013 the Government introduced a relatively simple mutual costs capping system. It is described in my 19 November 2016 blog post Mending Aarhus, along with a summary of … Continue reading “Aarhus: Caps In The Air Again”

Completion Notices: More Pointy, Still Pointless?

Completion notices have always been a blunt tool, little used by local planning authorities. The Housing White Paper proposes sharpening them, but to what end? If we blow the dust off a bit we can remind ourselves that the current completion notice procedure in sections 94 and 95 of the Town and Country Planning Act … Continue reading “Completion Notices: More Pointy, Still Pointless?”

Five Problems With Neighbourhood Plans

The real effects of neighbourhood plan making on housing delivery and on the efficient, democratic operation of the planning system are hard to pin down and yet the Government continues to champion its role. Are we really heading in the right direction? After all, despite the positivity of government sponsored initiatives such as mycommunity.org.uk  it … Continue reading “Five Problems With Neighbourhood Plans”

From The White Paper Mountain, What Do We See?

After so long we have reached the top of the mountain: the white paper and accompanying documents have all been published today, 7 February 2017. However, now we see a series of further peaks on the horizon.  A good way into the white paper itself, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, is to start at the back … Continue reading “From The White Paper Mountain, What Do We See?”

Hillingdon JR: Lucky Strike Out?

In R (London Borough of Hillingdon & others) v Secretary of State  (Cranston J, 30 January 2017) the Government achieved an impressive strike out of the first challenge to the proposed third runway at Heathrow, following the Government’s 25 October 2016 announcements. My 15 October 2016 blog post Airports & Courts wins no prizes for predicting … Continue reading “Hillingdon JR: Lucky Strike Out?”